Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Today I’ll depart from the New Testament and go back to the Old Testament.
One day while on my way to a gig, as I was driving through a section of town on the same road I use at least once a week, I noticed a banner. It was strung to a fence that was protecting an old hotel that was being refurbished. Part of the sign had the general contractor’s name, phone number, website, logo, etc. That was on the left side of the sign. On the right side was the verse from Proverbs that I referenced at the beginning of this piece.
Now maybe I noticed the verse because I was stopped at a red light, but I don’t believe that was the first time the light stopped me at that intersection. I know they hadn’t just put up the sign because I remembered the contractor’s name and logo on the sign. Something on that day made me look at the sign and read the verse. Continue reading
Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
This is part of Moses’s speech to Israel as they are about to pass into the land of Jordan after wandering in the wilderness for forty years.
Moses and God are reminding the Israelites and us of the importance of humility. Continue reading
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Originally I thought these verses should be cut in half, with verses sixteen and seventeen being one post and then eighteen and nineteen being another. But after reviewing all four verses, I realized they are meant to be as one.
Jesus is addressing a crowd, after confirming to the disciples of John the Baptist that Jesus is the Messiah, the one sent by God. Continue reading
Evil lies in the hearts of man.
Far from within, out of the heart of man comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery.
My wife purchased a unique wall decoration. It was a mask with two faces, some ram horns and a rat on the forehead. We didn’t have any idea what it was, what is was about or where it may have originated. All we knew was that it was a unique piece.
So my wife decided to post a picture on Facebook to see if any of her “friends” had any idea what it was or where it came from. She was looking for any information on the piece. Continue reading
And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
These verses are the response of Jesus to the question posed by John the Baptist. The question was, are you the Messiah? John was in prison and had heard about all the deeds of Christ and so he asked his disciples to ask Jesus this question.
Jesus does not say yes I am. Jesus tells the disciples that through his work one can know that he is the one to come, he is the Christ. Continue reading
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
Isaiah is speaking of the Messiah. If you read further into chapter 11, specifically verses 6 through 9, you will read about the peace that the Messiah will bring to the world. What I wanted to write about is what Isaiah is saying in verses 3 through 5, and how they apply to the present, especially with all the technology and how easy it is to manipulate the truth. Continue reading
To crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the earth,
to deny a man justice
in the presence of the Most High,
to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
the Lord does not approve.
Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Why should a living man complain,
a man, about the punishment of his sins?
When I read these verses, I am reminded of the arrogance of man and so is Jeremiah who wrote these lamentations for Israel. I am reminded of the arrogance of people who assume that all justice is defined as they see it. I am talking about the arrogance of those who think that punishment is to be doled out to their own sense of revenge. The assumption that they are the sole proprietors of making the determination of the punishment to fit the crime. People believe they are the center of the universe and therefore the balance is of their doing and it is to be to their satisfaction. But we are only a mere sub atomic particle in the infinity of space.
Justice is very subjective. Continue reading
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
These verses are referred to as The Parable of the Ten Virgins. It tells us to be ever vigilant for the return of Christ. No one, and I mean no one, knows when or where. You must stay vigilant, disciplined and be prepared.
But I found another meaning in this story, another lesson to be learned. Continue reading
Here’s a short post dealing with the The Gospel according to Luke. It’s just one verse.
And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you burden men with burdens heavy to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”
Lawyers, lawmakers, Congress, government, is this what Christ was referring to? Continue reading
1 Chronicles 19:1-5
Now after this Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. And David said, “I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came to the land of the Ammonites to Hanun to console him. But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away; and they departed. When David was told concerning the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”
Nahash, the king who dies at the beginning of these verses, had shown King David kindness at one point in his life. Nahash or one of his sons may have protected David from his enemies who were looking to destroy him. And it is possible that Hanun, the son and successor of Nahash and now the new king of the Ammonites, may be David’s half-brother.
Now I looked up this information because in Chapter 18 of 1 Chronicles, David set about conquering all his enemies, and was quite successful in his endeavors. The question I had was why David decided to deal kindly with Hanun since he really didn’t have to. And I came to the conclusion that I wrote in the previous paragraph, Nahash or Hanun had helped David and Hanun may be part of David’s family. Continue reading